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  1. #271
    Astonishing Member foxley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achilles View Post
    I have to admit, I have myself a deerstalker hat, bought at "221 B Baker Street". I just couldn't resist while I was there. Never worn it though. I suppose it might be part of the makings of a Halloween costume for a party, if such happens this year.
    Very comfortable and warm in my experience. An excellent choice for a windy day, as there is almost no chance of it blowing off your head.

  2. #272
    Astonishing Member foxley's Avatar
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    Got around to watching The Sleeping Cardinal (a.k.a. Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour) today. This was the first of a series of Holmes films made in Britain in the early 30s starring Arthur Wotner as Holmes and Ian Fleming (no, not the James Bond author) as Watson.

    Wotner was regarded as the definitive screen Holmes until Rathbone assumed the mantle, and it is easy to see why. He has a very strong resemblance to the Paget illustrations, especially in profile. He is very much the cerebral Holmes rather than the man of action (it is hard to imagine Watnor's Holmes unbending a steel poker, for example).

    Fleming plays an intelligent Watson, with the comedy relief role being given to Mrs. Hudson.

    The story is an original tale that borrows heavily from "The Empty House" and "The Final Problem". Not unusual for a film made in 1931, it feels a bit stagey to modern eyes, only a bit above filming a stage play. However, the director seems to have borrowed a few ideas from German expressionism and there are several scenes with very dramatic and unusual lighting effects. Especially striking is the opening sequence, with is silent and played out in silhouette from changing light sources.

    The film is in the public domain so shouldn't be too hard to track down, and is worth watching as an important step in Holmes' screen development.
    Last edited by foxley; 09-17-2021 at 04:00 AM.

  3. #273
    Mighty Member signalman112's Avatar
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    Charlton Comics. Dick Giordano art?

    SherlockCharlton.jpg

  4. #274
    Extraordinary Member Deathstroke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by signalman112 View Post
    Charlton Comics. Dick Giordano art?

    SherlockCharlton.jpg
    I wish I could grab up some of these old Sherlock Holmes comics.
    Beth Hart - Fire On The Floor CD Review

    Beth Hart February 23rd, 2017 Boston, MA Concert Review

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  5. #275
    Mighty Member signalman112's Avatar
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    Completed Jigsaw Puzzle.

    HolmesWatsonPuzzle.jpg

  6. #276
    Astonishing Member foxley's Avatar
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    I watched this some time ago, but have finally got around to writing up some thoughts on it.

    Sherlock: Case of Evil is a 2002 made-for-TV movie, featuring James D'Arcy as Holmes and focusing on Holmes at the start of his career. It was originally released as Sherlock, with the Case of Evil being added for the DVD release; presumably to avoid confusion with BBC TV series. I will add that, as a subtitle, 'case of evil' is completely and utterly meaningless.

    As with most adaptations, this plays fast and loose with canon. Some of the changes make for an entertaining stories; others, not so much. This is a reality where Moriarty as a criminal mastermind is known not only known to Holmes during the first year of his career, but also to the police, and this is a conceit I can accept for the sake of the story. Although Watson's background is not detailed, it is obviously different to canon and creates and intriguing version of Watson. But the motivations ascribed to the young Holmes just never ring true to me.

    Undoubtedly the standout in this production is Vincent D'Onofrio as Professor Moriarty. Yes, he his physically wrong for Moriarty, even a young Moriarty; being too large and physically imposing. But he has Moriarty's attitude down pat. It should some come as no surprise to those familiar with D'Onofrio's work that he does a brilliant job of portraying Moriarty's smug intellectual superiority. There is a great scene where Holmes is confronted by Moriarty and realising that not only has Moriarty been one step ahead of him the whole time, but he has predicted Holmes' reaction at every turn and his plan even relied on it: in short, playing him like a fiddle. Moriarty's reaction to Holmes' dawning realisation is a joy to behold. And, for once, the writers have given Moriarty a scheme worthy of his genius. I won't spoil it but, to paraphrase Holmes, 'building a criminal empire on something that is not illegal' is a masterstroke worthy of the Napoleon of Crime.

    James D'Arcy plays a very boyish Holmes, which is fair given that this is supposed to be Holmes at the start of his career. D'Arcy's Holmes never quite jells for me, and I'm not certain how much of it is his performance, and how much is the script. He rattles off his deductions with conviction, but when he falls into a funk, it feels more like a teenage sulk than the dark depression of the books. And, given what we know of of Holmes' character, I cannot buy money and women and the start of the film. Granted, they do explains why he abandoned these motivations and the end of the story, but it never feels genuine to me.

    Roger Morlidge plays a fascinating Watson. Firstly, he is no buffoon, which immediately elevates him in my eyes. His medical expertise is crucial to Holmes solving the mystery. And he is very proactive: when Holmes falls into depression, it is Watson who physically drags him out of the flat and takes him to see Mycroft. But this is not the Watson of the books. Rather than standard received pronunciation, Morlidge plays Watson with an accent (which I assume is Morlidge's native Leeds accent). This makes Watson seem, if not exactly working class,, then at least lower middle class. You get the impression that this Watson has worked very hard to get where he is. And he is no wounded army surgeon living on a half-pension, but a hard-working police surgeon (forerunner to modern pathologist). Overall, I really enjoyed this Watson. However, he was given two odd character quirks which feel like they were added so they could be used as running jokes in a TV series. Nothing I have read indicates that this was intended was a pilot, but perhaps the writers had the possibility at the back of their minds. This Watson is an amateur inventor and has a habit of predicting things that a modern viewers are wrong, such as the completion of the Underground removing the need for anyone to drive in London, or the government being about to outlaw cigarettes. Neither of these are particularly interesting or successful as character traits.

    The lovely Gabrielle Anwar is sadly given nothing to do in the thankless role of Holmes' love interest. Although introduced as an intriguing femme fatale in her first appearance, she sadly transforms into a damsel in distress as soon as her true identity is exposed,, and she spends the rest of the film being taken hostage.

    The always brilliant Richard E. Grant is bizarrely miscast as Mycroft Holmes: who is so far removed from what we know of Mycroft as to almost be a completely new character. The unfathomable need of American writers to make sure the hero's quest is 'personal', Mycroft is crippled by drug addiction, and Moriarty is the cause of Mycroft's addiction: according to a flashback, by holding Mycroft and physically injecting the drugs himself! But on watching Grant's performance in the scene where he and Sherlock use the dialogue from 'The Greek Interpreter', I was struck (not for the first time),, that he would make a first rate Holmes. He could certainly play Holmes' manic energy.

    Overall, this is definitely worth a watch, but it is a curious beast whose whole feels like less than the sum of its parts.

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